It was 16 years ago that Hassocks last made the semi finals of the Peter Bentley League Cup and in an ironic twist of fate one of their best chances to make the last four of the competition since ended after 16 minutes against Lancing,
The Lancers were 2-0 up by that point as Hassocks’ woeful start to proceedings cost them dearly and with it took some shine off of what has been a remarkable second half of the season for the Robins.
Lancing were ahead after just 33 seconds at Culver Road when Alex Harris was unable to gather a cross into the box and Richard Greenfield picked up the pieces from close range.
That seemed to leave the Robins in all manner of disarray and it was shortly after the quarter of an hour mark that Lancing extended their lead, Greenfield again the scorer with an effort from distance that snuck in against the post.
Hassocks belatedly became participants in the game after that, Bradley Bant rattling the crossbar against his old club, Rowan Wallis finding himself in nosebleed territory as he was tackled at the last and Jonno Melia working himself some space before firing wide.
The Robins were clearly intent on making an impression on the game in the second half and they certainly did that, Wallis using his wonderful legs to leap like a gazelle and flash a Bant delivery over the bar and then the ever lively Michael Death hit a rasping effort across the angle.
Lewis Finney showed why he is one of the leagues top marksman when his stinging effort was turned away by Harris but the resulting set piece was a disaster for the Robins as in trademark style Hassocks gave the sort of organisational impression you only see when the Chuckle Brothers are on tour and Finney smashed home the loose ball.
Two minutes later it was Finney who gave the scoreline a look it almost certainly didn’t deserve when he rounded Harris and slotted home for Lancing’s fourth.
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